The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has made a case for an upward review of the 13 percent oil derivation fund for the Niger Delta.
The governor noted that the fund from the Federal Government is not enough to meet the developmental needs of the people of the region.
Obaseki, who spoke to journalists after commissioning some projects by the Senator Ifeanyi Okowa-led government in Delta State, insisted on cut in wastes by Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and such channeled to develop the region.
The governor noted: “There are criticisms and questioning across the country on how Niger Delta States spend the 13 percent deprivation that accrue to them.
“The 13 percent is clearly utilised for the benefit of the Niger Delta people and what we have seen here today has shown it. These are justifications for getting more funds to the region because of the difficult terrain and the security situation and concerns faced by the people. The funds will enable the governors of the region to do more for the people.”
Obaseki said to get more funds to develop the region, governors in the region should challenge and ensure that the NDDC cuts its waste.
“One of the ways we are looking at to increase the derivation fund is through the NDDC waste. We will work together and see how to stop the waste and get more resources from that Commission to augment what we are doing in our various states in the region.
“What we have now is grossly inadequate given the amount of work and the expectation of the people. We need more resources in the region to carry out the infrastructural work required of the governors of the region,” he said.
On security, Governor Obaseki said it’s an unusual time across the globe as COVID-19 has put people on the edge, following the disruption of the world’s economy.
He noted that the pandemic has put communities under stress, as they look for different means to earn a livelihood.
“Nigerians are in the best position to tackle security challenges facing the nation and need to rethink security as the Federal Government alone can’t secure the country.
“Nigeria can only be secured at the Federal level by the Federal Government, at the state level by the State Governments and at the local level by the local governments. We need to rethink security and decentralise the security architecture and infrastructure of Nigeria for us to begin the process of having lasting peace and security.”